New York Knicks: Be Patient With Kevin Knox

Adam Kester
New York Knicks, Kevin Knox
CLEVELAND, OHIO – JANUARY 20: Kevin Knox II #20 of the New York Knicks drives down court during the first half against the Cleveland Cavaliers at Rocket Mortgage Fieldhouse on January 20, 2020 in Cleveland, Ohio. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and/or using this photograph, user is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement. (Photo by Jason Miller/Getty Images)

The New York Knicks are trying to build a team through the draft. Now armed with 7 draft picks in the next 2 years, the Knicks will try and continue to bring in young talent. This also means they have some decisions to make with their current young players. The New York Knicks will need to decide who is worth investing in the long-term, and who is expendable. One of these players is 2nd year forward Kevin Knox.

Knox has struggled all year and has been under fire from both coaches and fans. The 8th overall pick in the 2018 draft has regressed in his 2nd year, and any magic from his rookie campaign seems to have worn off. So how do the Knicks keep faith in their inconsistent youngster? Let’s look back at his draft profile.

Kevin Knox was drafted as a project player.

Here’s what a scouting report from DraftExpress said in Knox’s senior year of high school:

“If he can find a way to buy into defending multiple positions, moving off the ball, crashing the glass, running the floor, and playing as more of a modern four man (which is very much the trend in today’s NBA) he’s far more interesting as an NBA prospect.”

We haven’t gotten to see Knox play much of the 4 due to the Knicks power forward spending spree. You have to wonder if playing him there would allow him to create more mismatches on offense.

Here’s what Knox’s former head coach at Kentucky John Calipari had to say about him entering the 2018 Draft:

“He’s not even close to where he’s going to be,” Calipari said Friday at the NBA Combine. “But he’s young…This is a futures league. They’re going to look at him and say OK where is he in three years compared to him and you go, ‘Holy s–t.’ This isn’t them looking at this guy versus that guy. It’s all projection. And then you want to get a guy you hope you have for nine years.”

Of course, a head coach will speak fondly of his own player, but Calipari was brutally honest in his evaluation of Knox. He knew Knox was a project. It’s going to take time. Kevin Knox is still growing into his body and learning how to use it effectively.

Knox’s defense has been all over the place. He’s slow with his rotations, but his frame and athleticism give you a lot of hope that he can improve.

After averaging 28.8 minutes per game his rookie year, Knox hasn’t been able to find consistent playing time all season. Knox is currently averaging the 32nd most minutes among all sophomore players. That is unacceptable for someone drafted 8th overall.

Whether or not it means playing in the G-League, the Knicks need to find a way to get Knox more experience. His ceiling hasn’t changed since the draft. Hopefully, the Knicks will recognize that.